MEN OF '61
Concerning your selection for Sportsman of the Year (Jan. 8), I agree that the great Roger Maris, the incomparable Paul Hornung and the matchless Warren Spahn are not worthy of the honor. But who is Jerry Lucas?
The worst choice possible.
How can SPORTS ILLUSTRATED pick a boy over the men? What's wrong with Big Bill Russell, the greatest basketball player in the world?
Whatever his faults of character, whatever his lack of tact and subtlety in speaking with writers and fans alike, Roger Maris is a man who carved a niche in history which neither you (by your neglect) nor anyone else can ever take away from him. Roger Maris, in 1961, made the biggest impact on the sports world with one of the greatest individual achievements in sports history. Roger Maris, in 1961, was the Sportsman of the Year.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
From a basketball enthusiast who three years ago (having never seen him play) was sure Lucas was vastly overrated, today come congratulations on your Sportsman of the Year award.
Your choice was the finest.
Although I have never seen the indispensable Jerry Lucas, Sportsman of the Year, in action, I gather he must be a truly remarkable athlete to deserve your award. The same holds true for the other sportsmen you mentioned.
Nevertheless, how can you possibly fail to give even some credit to Green Bay's terrific triple-threat halfback, Paul Hornung, who not only serves his team but his country as well. I have seen Hornung play, and he is at least worthy of a little acclaim. After all, he was voted the Most Valuable Male Athlete of the Year in several other polls. I realize that you cannot acknowledge everyone, but must you leave Paul Hornung out?
JAMES P. EWING JR.
Fernandina Beach, Fla.
?See same issue, pages 12-15—ED.
You reviewed the many feats in the sports world during the year 1961.1 think, however, you overlooked the fact that the record of 50 goals in a season, set by Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens, was tied by the great right wing of the Montreal Canadiens, namely, Bernard (Boom Boom) Geoffrion.